LEXINGTON, Ky. -- Anyone who had property damage or other losses as a result of the tornadoes and severe storms in early February and has not already applied for federal assistance should do so now, according to officials of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Kentucky Division of Emergency Management (KYEM). The deadline is April 21, only three weeks away.
"We urge everyone in the 15 counties that are eligible for assistance to register now," said Federal Coordinating Officer Michael Bolch, who is leading the federal recovery program in Kentucky. "It's the only way you can receive aid for uninsured expenses caused by the storms that hit Kentucky Feb. 5-6."
Registration is easy. You can apply online at www.fema.gov or by a toll free telephone call to 800-621-FEMA (3362). For the speech- or hearing-impaired the number is TTY 800-462-7585.
Applicants who have questions about disaster assistance programs, the status of their previously filed applications or an appeal should continue to use FEMA's toll-free Helpline at 800-621-3362.
April 21 is also the deadline for homeowners, renters and businesses to return applications to the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) for loans to cover disaster-related damages to real and personal property.
Officials urge everyone who has registered with FEMA and received an SBA application to complete the form and return it even if they are not seeking a loan. Submitting the SBA application by the April 21 deadline is required before applicants can be considered for some types of FEMA aid.
Information about SBA programs is available by calling 800-659-2955 or online at www.sba.gov.
"It just makes sense to take a few minutes, call FEMA or go online and register," said Charlie Winter, the KYEM official in charge of recovery for the Commonwealth. "Some of your recovery expenses could be eligible for a grant to help you through a difficult time."
The 15 counties designated as eligible for individual assistance are Allen, Bath, Christian, Fayette, Hardin, Harrison, Hart, Hopkins, Meade, Mercer, Monroe, Muhlenberg, Nicholas, Shelby and Spencer.
FEMA coordinates the federal government's role in preparing for, preventing, mitigating the effects of, responding to, and recovering from all domestic disasters, whether natural or man-made, including acts of terror.